Consultancy tips

How consultants work: plan your future, work to reach your goals

20 May 2020
In our series Pauwels People, our consultants introduce themselves and talk about how they experience working at Pauwels Consulting and with our clients. Today, we are going to get acquainted with Annamaria De Sio, Project Management Expert at Pauwels Consulting. Annamaria joined Pauwels Consulting in January 2016.
Hello Annamaria, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Annamaria: Of course! My name is Annamaria, I’m 43 and I live in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. I’m a flexible and goal-focused team player and I love working with people and learning about different cultures.

What do you do in your spare time?

Annamaria: Well, I like creating jewelry, walking, traveling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

What did you study?

Annamaria: I studied Mathematics in Salerno, Italy, at the Università degli Studi. I also studied Gemology in Antwerp at the International Gemological Institute, which makes me a qualified pearls and coloured stones grader. I followed several project management, program management, change management and risk management courses and classes in Italy, Belgium, Germany and Great-Britain as well. That way, I obtained several certificates such as the Project Management Professional and Six Sigma Green Belt certificates, for example.

Why did you choose these studies?

Annamaria: I chose Mathematics because I love problem-solving, and Gemology because I like making jewelry and because I really think that knowledge is very important in every kind of activity you want to do. I also like to keep up with the latest developments in project management, program management, change management and risk management because I’m very passionate about these fields of study. That’s why I follow new courses on a regular basis.

What is your professional background?

Annamaria: I have always worked as a consultant. I started in networking, and then I worked in software development, business analysis, testing management, project management and finally program management. In Italy, I worked for the Ministery of Transport, for Vodafone Telecommunications and for web marketing company SEAT Pagine Gialle. In France, I worked for E-commerce start-up Operia, and in Belgium, I worked for the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission (EACEA). At the moment, I’m working at GSK Pharma in Wavre.

How did you get in touch with Pauwels Consulting and what was your first impression of the company?

Annamaria: I got in touch with Pauwels Consulting through a colleague. What struck me first was the very professional and friendly environment at Pauwels Consulting.

Can you tell us a bit more about your current project?

Annamaria: I recently set up the project management infrastructure for an FDA remediation program and now I’m working on a Quality Culture project.

What is the goal of this project?

Annamaria: The goal of this project is to promote, develop and reinforce a quality culture in the whole organization, from top to bottom.

What are the timelines of this project?

Annamaria: My current project will end in December 2016, but because of the importance of the topic, a new project may start in January.

What are your responsibilities during this project?

Annamaria: I support the Senior Manager at GSK by defining and formalizing new processes, measures and KPIs and by coming up with ideas for the continuous improvement of the Quality Culture.

What do you like about this project?

Annamaria: In the past, I have managed a lot of IT projects in several domains, but this is the first time I work on Quality Culture, soft skills and competency development. These are all concepts that are not very tangible and therefore difficult to structure. That’s quite challenging and interesting to me.

What did you learn during this project?

Annamaria: I’ve learned that management buy-in is crucial to change the mind-set of an organization as a whole. If you want to change the organisational culture and if you want people working in a more proactive way, implementing tools and procedures is not enough. You really need the support of the management. They have to act as a role model and encourage and support change.

What would you like to do after this project and why?

Annamaria: Well, after this project, I’d like to focus on Risk management and Lean. Risk management is a part of my actual mission. It covers several interesting domains like finance, resources and planning, and I really like the analytical part. I discovered Lean at the beginning of my first mission at GSK, in March 2015. I have a Green belt certificate now, but I would like to go even further because I’m passionate about optimization.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Annamaria: As a mathematician, I want to obtain the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. As a manager, I would like to improve my change management skills. And as a person, I want to keep loving my job and stay curious about future possibilities.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Annamaria: Sure, I would give them the following advice:

Plan your future, work to reach your goals and be flexible enough to adapt your plans if necessary.

Thank you very much for this lovely interview, Annamaria. I wish you all the best for the future!

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Joke Roggeman Welcome Officer